Book Review – The Nest

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Here we go again you guys, another book I picked up because the cover is so alluring. This book was so hyped up I was expecting it to be funny and the characters to be witty. But for me it fell short in all aspects. I wonder, maybe it’s my mood? Perhaps I am missing something? Here is the synopsis of The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. It’s quite long so if you just want to read that first sentence there it will sum it up pretty well.

A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.
Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.
Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the future they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.
This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.

Let us begin with the characters. Present are 4 siblings: Leo (the reckless rebel of the family), Jack (timid and self serving), Melody (overbearing mother with youngest sibling syndrome), and Beatrice (shallow). These 4 have no respect for one another and are fuelled only by greed in receiving the inheritance that they “deserve”. Each character irritated me to no end and the sub-characters added no substance to the plot.

The story begins with Leo getting into a car accident. I have no sympathy for him, he was cheating on his wife with a waitress who gave him a hand job in exchange for his promise to listen to her music demo. Cliche. Opening with a pivotal scene such as this one I expected a fast paced read. Except we came to a screeching halt. The book dragged on and on and on and I had no idea what I was waiting for.

This novel was written in different POVs. In the past with other books I found that the voice of one character frequently overlaps with another in the storyline. *ahem divergent series book 3* This is why I tend to stray more to books with one character telling the story. Finding it hard to follow different POVs I was ready to overlook this and dive into the story. I will give Sweeney props for this – each character had a voice of their own and I did not feel any characters overlap with one another.

Honestly the book was well written but my interest stopped there. Usually I dread when a book finishes, this one I couldn’t wait for it to end. Beatrice and Melody do grow somewhat but I cared little for their development.

I hope my current read brings a great review because everyone will think I dislike all the books I read! I promise it’s not so. I just need to stop picking books that have pretty covers.

*I seem to be 1 in 1000 that dislikes this book. If you have read it and would like to show me the reasons you liked the novel please email us at acouplereads@gmail.com I would love to hear your thoughts! My favourite thing to do is discuss books!

Page count – 368 pages
Rating – 2/5 Oakley stars 28c0f842f1ae0046e59cc2b8afdf06e7

 

 

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One thought on “Book Review – The Nest

  1. I think you’ve summed up my sense of the characters really well. They all struck me as shallow and self-interested, which is perhaps Sweeney’s comment on contemporary America.

    I do quite like books with changing POV’s and I agree that there is a clear sense of voice for each character. Of the minor characters–some of whom turn out to be pretty important–I found myself rooting for the widower with the statue and the chap with one arm (they were so memorable I forget their names), but the ending in which they feature is predictable and trite. I found myself reading, wondering when the story was going to get started and I’m not sure that it really ever did.

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